Gorgeous hair comes from a healthy scalp. Too often, we overlook the importance of scalp care in our efforts to get the most beautiful natural hair ever.
You probably already know that natural hair is a challenge to maintain. It takes a gentle hand, along with a ton of effort, patience, and discipline. You want to wear the hair you’ve been given from birth, but you also want it to cooperate. Mostly, you want to look good, so you spend hours on your natural tresses, doing elaborate styles and planning careful methods of protection.
But what about scalp care? Having healthy follicles is essential, and arguably the most critical component to growing healthy natural curls.
In this post, we’ll discuss five fantastic ways to get a healthy scalp. If you want to take care of your scalp so you can have thick, lustrous hair, keep reading.
1. Eat to Grow Hair
The way you eat is the first step to a beautiful scalp. If you consider that the scalp is just as sensitive as your facial complexion, you know that you need to eat better to have a healthy scalp and follicles. Water intake and nutrition make all the difference.
Cells require protein, water, vitamins, fats, and minerals to build skin and hair. If you eat processed junk and not enough of the right foods, you’ll notice the difference. When the body is starved for nutrition, it will give all it receives to keep vital organs alive. Hair and skin are secondary.
When there’s a deficiency, the body uses all nutrition for basic survival and then works on hair growth with leftover resources.
If someone is unhealthy, you’ll notice that their hair may be thin, straggly, or dull. That’s because hair is less critical, and the body is doing whatever it can to ensure survival.
In fact, thinning hair is often the first thing a woman notices when her body isn’t absorbing proper nutrition, and could be the symptom that prompts her to check it out at the doctor’s office.
Aim to get most of your nutrition from well-balanced whole foods, and then use vitamin and mineral supplements to make up for any deficiencies.
2. Treat Dandruff and Scalp Fungus
Don’t underestimate the damage that dandruff and fungus can do to your scalp. You may be accustomed to doing co-washing only, but it’s probably not a good time to avoid shampoo if you have a scalp condition. Choose a sulfate-free shampoo and scrub your scalp at least once a week, and then you can go back to co-washing after the medical condition has cleared.
Scalp fungi like candida and tinea versicolor will latch onto your scalp and steal protein and other nutrients from your body. Fungi thrive in warm, dark, and moist environments, so you should think twice before sleeping on a wet scalp.
Use cleansing oils, a sulfate-free shampoo, and a scalp massager, to treat any scalp condition. Scalp massagers help to spread shampoo, unclog the follicles, and they are more effective than fingernails.
70% of your immune system sits in the gut, so strengthening this system is as important as applying topical treatments to the scalp. A good probiotic with 15-16 strains and at least 11 billion bacteria will help to crowd out scalp fungus by populating the gut with good bacteria.
Peppermint essential oil, castor oil, tea tree and the other oils found in the Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum are your best allies when it comes to fighting bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Stimulating the blood just under the scalp will work to activate dormant cells and get them to destroy and remove toxins.
3. Use Oils to Repair the Scalp
No, we’re not talking about greasing the scalp and clogging the hair follicles. It’s about using healing oils to nurture and repair the scalp. If you’ve received any chemical burns, or you’ve been scratching your head a lot, you’ll probably need to rebuild the skin.
If you’ve ever gotten a mild burn or cut on your hand or arm, you know that it will heal, but that it could leave a scar. Sure, it will hurt, and you may have an unsightly scar for life. But other than that, everything will be just fine in a couple weeks.
However, the scalp is unique and different from the rest of the skin on your body. When the scalp is damaged, it’s the hair follicles that suffer, leaving you with no method of growing hair.
Repairing and restoring the skin to its original health means that your follicles may return to their initial state too. As we age, reparation of follicles gets more difficult.
Your skin will hopefully heal from any burns and open sores, but repairing follicles is asking a lot from the body. Using healing oils is an ideal way to help with the reparation and restoration.
Repairing the skin and follicles are one of your cells’ many jobs. By stimulating blood flow and giving the body new energy, we’re able to speed the healing process. Great repairing oils to try are: Peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and castor oil. All three oils have a stimulating effect on the body, and will increase activity on a deep cellular level.
4. Massage for Better Circulation
We spend all day in an upright position, and you may even sleep with your head propped on a pillow. Because of this, it can be hard for blood cells to reach the very top of the body.
Massaging the scalp in an inverted manner with an oil-based serum is one of the best ways to get the blood circulating within your head. Stimulating the blood is important because you’ll enable the cells within the hair follicle to create strong hair.
You can use either an electrical scalp massager or your fingertips to do a massage. Stand with your feet shoulder-length apart and your legs straight, but not locked. Then bend over with your head toward your feet and massage for 5-15 minutes three times per week.
Massaging your scalp in the inverted manner will help to grow your hair and give you the healthy curls you want.
5. Avoid a Constantly Wet Scalp
When you have natural hair, you’re constantly setting and molding styles like twist-outs and bantu knots. Is your hair always wet? If so, you may want to figure out a way to quickly dry the scalp.
Here are several ways to dry your scalp better without ruining your curls:
- Dry the scalp on wash day. You probably use a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry your hair on wash day. When you dry, use this same t-shirt to focus on patting the scalp dry.
Wash your hair as early as you can before bedtime to avoid going to bed with soaking wet hair.
- Choose a satin pillowcase over the bonnet. You probably already know it’s best to use a satin bonnet or scarf every night to protect your curls. But covering very wet hair all night can provide a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Opt to use a satin pillowcase only if your hair and scalp are too wet.
- Dry the scalp after sweating. Bacteria and fungus love sweat and open pores, which is why conditions like scalp fungus and athlete’s foot can be hard to get rid of. Be sure to lift up your hair after the gym to get the scalp to dry faster. Also, take off any headgear like a scarf or hat on the way home to encourage the sweat to dry.
Keeping your scalp dry and clean will help to clear the skin from conditions like fungus, scalp acne, and dandruff. It will also make it possible for your scalp to breathe, and follicles to thrive.
If you eat right, stimulate the scalp with oils and massage, and treat medical conditions, you’ll have a supple scalp that wants to produce beautiful, healthy curls for you.
written by: Patrina, founder of Naturalhairqueen.net